Hi, my name is Naaman. You probably don’t know me but you can read my story in 2 Kings Chapter 5. And you should read it because it’s the story of a very prideful man (is there any other kind?) who had to be humbled in order to see the Lord for who he is. Before the events of this story unfolded I couldn’t see the Lord, because all I could see was … me.
I learned that day that until I can see me for who I am –a man in desperate need of a Savior – I would never see the LORD for who he is.
I was very successful: a warrior general and right-hand man to the king of Aram. Everybody loved and respected me because of all I had accomplished. And this is where I based my security I was large and in charge, sitting high atop the throne of my life. I was in control of everything and everyone around me – or so I thought.
You see I had this skin issue. Okay, it was leprosy, but I had hidden it from everyone because, well, it should be obvious why. Someone like me doesn’t show weakness. But as it got worse my Hebrew servant girl told me about this famous prophet in Israel who could cure me. I wasn’t so sure about any common Hebrew prophet, but I couldn’t control this skin problem, and I had always been in control, so I set out for Israel.
I arrived in style at the pitiful hovel of a house in which the prophet Elisha lived. I might have had to humble myself to even come here, but you better believe I arrived in style! Chariots, horsemen, silver and gold. I would pay this little prophet well for his service.
Someone like me doesn’t accept free help from anyone, don’t you see? Grace was for weaklings. I have earned my way all my life, and I would earn my way with this prophet. But, now get this, that little pipsqueak prophet didn’t even come out to bow down to me … uh, I mean greet me. He sent a servant out to tell me – that’s right – tell me to go dip in the Jordan River … seven times!
This flew all over me and I turned and left in a rage. I growled to my servant, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.”
I wanted a ceremony. I wanted to be treated with respect. But he told me to dip seven times … in that muddy Jordan River … in front of my servants. Seven times. In front of my servants. After grumbling and throwing my little tantrum, my chief servant pointed out my true stumbling block: “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?”
There it was: my pride. I couldn’t see the LORD because all I could see was me. My security was in my status, my accomplishments. Maybe yours is, too. Or maybe your security is in something or someone else. The details matter little; as long as you find your security in anything other than the LORD, you will have no true security at all. None. I don’t care how much you accomplish, or how much everyone else loves you.
There is no true security in anyone or anything other than the LORD.
I had to humble myself, yield to this prophet, and dip seven times. With each return into those muddy waters: one, two, three, four … seven inglorious times, grace was growing and my insecure security was flowing away with the river.
My pride had to surrender to grace. I couldn’t earn this one. And my security had to be transferred from me to Him. Are you clinging to some false god for your security? Perhaps if you examined your life you’d see your security is based on your accomplishments, or your job, or someone you love.
Will you humbly dip seven times to be free? Will you dip seven times to find the only true security there is?